Battle of Britain
You can now watch the Battle of Britain episode of Find My Past the TV show right here on findmypast.co.uk if you have a current findmypast.co.uk subscription.
In this episode of Find My Past the TV show, Jamie Naden, Tim Parsons and Alex Sears discovered how their ancestors were all involved in the Battle of Britain.
Wondering which records were used to track the participants' family trees? Read on to find out.
Alex Sears' grandfather, Robert Wardlow Oxspring, flew with No.66 Squadron during the Battle of Britain. We unearthed Robert's birth record on findmypast.co.uk click on the image to enlarge it:
We also discovered Tim Parsons' uncle in our birth records. Claude Arthur Parsons also flew with No.66 Squadron during the Battle of Britain view his birth record here:
Jamie Naden's great-great-aunt worked as a plotter with the WAAF during the Battle of Britain. Ernestine Margery Birch, known as Margery, appears in the 1911 census records on findmypast.co.uk view her census return here:
We delved further back in time to earlier censuses, where we discovered something a little unusual about Margery's parents' home life. Harriette Elizabeth Gregory and Ernest Albert Birch married in 1889 and the 1911 census return above shows that they had five children. The couple are recorded as living apart, however, in all three censuses taken following their marriage. At the time of the 1901 census, Harriette was living at 10 Freemantle Square, Bristol and Ernest at 18 Albert Grove, Portsmouth. View their census returns below:
Armed forces deaths
Tim Parsons learnt that his uncle, Claude Parsons, died in service after being asked to fly instead of Jimmy Corbin, the veteran Tim and Alex met during the episode. We discovered the record of Claude's death in our armed forces death records, which include the General Register Office's register of RAF war deaths. Claude is recorded as being a Flight Sergeant in No.66 Squadron view his record here:
Jamie Naden's great-great-aunt Margery Birch features in the passenger lists on findmypast.co.uk. Before she joined the WAAF, it appears that student Margery planned a trip to Cherbourg in France. Her name appears at the top of this passenger list, but it is crossed through showing that she didn't board the ship:
Robert Oxspring, Alex Sears' grandfather, also appears in the passenger lists. He is listed with his wife and three children (including Helen, Alex's mother) and is listed as being in the RAF. It appears that the family intended to emigrate to Canada in 1955; however, like Margery Birch, Robert's name is also crossed out showing that he didn't board the ship:
Honour our heroes
Were your ancestors involved in the Battle of Britain? Share their photos with us and be a part of our tribute to our WWII heroes.
Go behind the scenes in our blog
Read our exclusive 'behind the scenes' interview with Jamie Naden as he shares his experiences of taking part in the show.Go behind the scenes